Mon, 21 May 2018
PLANS for an ambitious multi-million pound redevelopment of Newbury’s Kennet Shopping centre have been put on hold.
In 2016, the Newbury Weekly News revealed the proposals for the first phase of the redevelopment, which would have seen a ‘restaurant quarter’ created to offer more of an option for dining out.
The plan, for five or six new restaurants along the Cheap Street side of the centre, was outlined by asset manager Bride Hall at a public meeting.
However, it has emerged that Bride Hall is no longer associated with the project, having left several months ago, and a new asset manager and letting agent have taken over.
Speaking to the NWN, Kennet Shopping manager Mag Williams said: “The redevelopment is on hold until we decide the best thing to do.
“Things can change so quickly nowadays. It is obviously difficult because we’ve started a planning process.
“Bride Hall’s idea was centred on the leisure quarter, but it could take a different direction. We aren’t sure what’s going to happen just yet.
“We’ve got some potential interest in the retail units, so decided to hold fire for now.”
Plans for the first phase were approved by West Berkshire Council last year, but nothing has happened since.
To facilitate the anticipated redevelopment, Prohibition bar and Chenz restaurant were served notice on their leases and vacated last year. These units still remain unoccupied.
Mrs Williams previously said: “This will always be a shopping centre.”
It was put up for sale by former owner Alanis Capital in 2015 for £18.5m and acquired by an American firm six months later.
The centre comprises 238,000 sq ft of retail/leisure accommodation, including a seven-screen cinema, which opened in 2009, and is served by a 436-space car park.